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A hierarchy of intrinsic timescales across primate cortex

Nature Neuroscience volume 17, pages 16611663 (2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Specialization and hierarchy are organizing principles for primate cortex, yet there is little direct evidence for how cortical areas are specialized in the temporal domain. We measured timescales of intrinsic fluctuations in spiking activity across areas and found a hierarchical ordering, with sensory and prefrontal areas exhibiting shorter and longer timescales, respectively. On the basis of our findings, we suggest that intrinsic timescales reflect areal specialization for task-relevant computations over multiple temporal ranges.

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Acknowledgements

We thank R. Chaudhuri and H.F. Song for discussions, and W. Chaisangmongkon and A. Ponce-Alvarez for assistance with data sets. Funding was provided by US Office of Naval Research grant N00014-13-1-0297 and US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant R01MH062349 (X.-J.W.); NIH grant R01DA029330 (D.L.); NIH grants R01EY11749 and T32EY07125 (T.P.); NIH grant R01DA032758 and Whitehall Foundation grant 2010-12-13 (C.P.-S.); NIH grants R01DA19028 and P01NS040813 (J.D.W.); grants from Dirección General de Asuntos del Personal Académico–Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología México (R.R.); and NIH grant R01EY019041 (D.J.F.).

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, New York, USA.

    • John D Murray
    •  & Xiao-Jing Wang
  2. Department of Neurobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

    • John D Murray
    • , Alberto Bernacchia
    • , Hyojung Seo
    • , Daeyeol Lee
    •  & Xiao-Jing Wang
  3. School of Engineering and Science, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany.

    • Alberto Bernacchia
  4. Department of Neurobiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA.

    • David J Freedman
  5. Instituto de Fisiología Celular, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D.F., Mexico.

    • Ranulfo Romo
  6. El Colegio Nacional, México D.F., Mexico.

    • Ranulfo Romo
  7. Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA.

    • Jonathan D Wallis
  8. Department of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, USA.

    • Jonathan D Wallis
  9. NYU-ECNU Institute of Brain and Cognitive Science, NYU Shanghai, Shanghai, China.

    • Xinying Cai
    •  & Xiao-Jing Wang
  10. Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

    • Xinying Cai
    •  & Camillo Padoa-Schioppa
  11. Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.

    • Tatiana Pasternak
  12. Center for Visual Science, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA.

    • Tatiana Pasternak

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Contributions

J.D.M., A.B. and X.-J.W. designed the research and wrote the manuscript. J.D.M. analyzed the data and prepared the figures. D.J.F., R.R., J.D.W., X.C., C.P.-S., T.P., H.S. and D.L. contributed the electrophysiological data. All authors contributed to editing and revising the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xiao-Jing Wang.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nn.3862

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